Gasoline demand continues to grow as pump prices fluctuate

(April 6, 2021) WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gasoline demand measured 8.9 million barrels a day in the Energy Administration’s (EIA) latest weekly report, up nearly 4% from the week prior. Because of the jump in demand, gasoline supplies tightened to 230.5 million barrels the lowest level this year, and state gas price averages saw major fluctuations. On the week, states saw pump price changes ranging from an increase of 15 cents to a decrease of 3 cents.

Monday's national average was $2.87, which is more expensive on the week (+1 cent), month (+12 cents) and year (+94 cents).

“We anticipate demand will continue to increase throughout the month as vaccinations become more widely available and weather turns warmer,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. “This will lead to fluctuation at the pump throughout the spring season.”

One factor that may help to keep the national gas price average below $3/gallon is the price of crude, which accounts for nearly 60% of the price at the pump. After hitting a 12-month high of $66 a barrel last month, crude has been priced mostly at the $60 a barrel mark recently. If it stays low, even with demand increasing, it will contribute to less frequent pump price jumps. However, at the end of last week, crude started to see higher movement following a production announcement by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Plus (OPEC+).

Quick stats

    •     The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes: Ohio (+15 cents), Michigan (+11 cents), Indiana (+11 cents), Wisconsin (+7 cents), Kentucky (+4 cents), Illinois (+4 cents), Hawaii (+4 cents), Florida (−3 cents), Idaho (+3 cents) and Tennessee (+3 cents).

    •    The nation’s top 10 least expensive state averages: Mississippi ($2.58), South Carolina ($2.58), Texas ($2.59), Louisiana ($2.62), North Carolina ($2.62), Oklahoma ($2.62), Missouri ($2.64), Alabama ($2.64), Kansas ($2.66) and Arkansas ($2.67).